Wind energy transformations | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Energy transformations: Wind power

Transforming wind into mechanical energy that powers our homes.

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40 mins


Wind is a renewable energy source that can be used to create electricity. After watching a short, animated video, students share their notes in small groups and discuss what they know about wind energy and energy transformations. 


What you'll need

  • "Energy transformations: Wind power" worksheet
  • Pinwheel
  • Paper fan 

Start with what you know

  1. Write a list on the board of what students know about wind turbines. Here are some questions to ask that will get ideas flowing:
    • What might the pinwheel and paper fan have in common with a wind turbine?
    • Where does the energy come from to make the pinwheel and fan work? The energy from moving air makes a pinwheel work and the energy for a paper fan comes from the person who’s holding it.
    • Is an energy transformation taking place? In the pinwheel, moving air is transformed into mechanical energy to spin the wheel. But with the fan, the kinetic energy of a person waving it creates the kinetic movement of air, so there’s no energy transformation. 
  2. Now, explain that a wind turbine is a device that transforms energy from one type into another. If students are familiar with energy transformations, can they predict the energy transformations in a wind turbine? Add their ideas to the list.

Before the video

  1. Explain the acronym NIMBY (not in my backyard). NIMBY refers to a person or a group of people who object to (disagree with) a development in their neighbourhood, and don’t want something built or placed too close to their home (not in their backyard).

Watch the video

  1. Watch the video, pausing at 1:31 to discuss what NIMBY means in this video.
    • What are some reasons people may not want wind power being generated in their community?
    • Do you think there’s a way for both sides to be satisfied?
  2. Finish the video, then hand out copies of the "Energy transformations: Wind power" worksheet. 
  3. Show the video again, stopping at key points for students to fill out their worksheets. Provide a few more minutes after the video for students to complete their notes.


  1. Ask students to form groups of four and share their notes. Have them add or make changes to their notes as they review with their group.
  2. Go over the worksheet as a class. Encourage discussion when there are different opinions and be sure that accurate information is being reinforced.

Modify or extend this activity

Curriculum Fit

Grade 4 Science 


  • Energy has various forms
  • Devices that transform energy
  • Energy is conserved

Curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting
  • Demonstrate curiosity about the natural world
  • Identify some simple environmental implications of their and others’ actions
  • Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways, such as diagrams and simple reports, using digital technologies as appropriate

Teaching Notes

A wind turbine is an example of a device that can transform one type of energy into another. Wind (moving or kinetic energy) moves the turbine blades which are connected to an electromagnetic generator by a shaft. The generator is the point of the transformation. This is an example of a renewable energy source that can be used to create electricity.


Collect worksheets and assess for growing knowledge of the energy transformations in a wind turbine.

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